Virgin Hotels Collection to unveil new trade portals next year

New travel advisor portals for Virgin Hotels and Virgin Limited Edition will be rolled out “early next year”.

The two brands came together under one parent company, Virgin Hotels Collection, in January this year, with Virgin Hotels chief executive James Bermingham stepping up to oversee both brands. 

Speaking to Aspire at the launch of Virgin Limited Edition’s new property, Son Bunyola Hotel in Majorca, Bermingham said the team was concentrated on developing new websites for both brands, with a focus on supporting the trade community.

“The travel advisor community is huge for us,” he said. “It’s very important to both brands and that’s going to continue.”

Bermingham said 48% of business came through the trade versus 52% direct across the Virgin Hotels Collection portfolio.

“But when it comes to leisure, the vast majority is through the trade, which is why we value it so much,” he added. 

“[Bookings through agents and operators] are probably even more important now because after that two-year period [during the pandemic], one of the things that we all appreciated was how good it is to travel - and folks have travelled more since the restrictions have been lifted. 

“And that's where travel advisors are so important, especially when it comes to new destinations or new markets, because they really have that local knowledge and expertise that nobody else does.”

Bermingham said both brands would also continue to focus on fam trips, with visits to the new Son Bunyola Hotel commencing later this year. 

Senior members of the UK travel trade were in attendance at the opening of Son Bunyola Hotel last weekend, including Carrier’s managing director Natasha Towey; Redmond Walsh, chief executive of Portman Travel Group, owner of Elegant Resorts; Classic Collection Holidays chief executive Andy Freeth; and Lusso’s senior product manager Helen Brown.

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